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What is Dementia?

Dementia is not a single illness but a group of symptoms caused by damage to the structure of the brain. Symptoms include memory loss, and problems with communication and reasoning.

Dementia is associated with an ongoing decline of the brain and its abilities. The damage to the brain can be due to poor blood flow or strokes (vascular dementia) or because of damage to the internal structure of the nerve cells (Alzheimer’s disease).

Types of dementia

The most common types of dementia are Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, frontotemporal dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies.

Want to know more?

  • Click here for more information on the different types of dementia and warning signs and symptoms.
  • Click here for our frequently asked questions from people living with dementia and their families who look after them.

Signs and symptoms

Whilst forgetting things is a normal part of ageing you should go to your GP, especially if you notice some of the following:

  • memory loss, especially problems with recalling recent events, such as forgetting messages, remembering routes or names, and asking questions repetitively
  • increasing difficulties with tasks and activities that require organisation and planning
  • becoming confused in unfamiliar environments
  • difficulty finding the right words
  • difficulty with numbers and/or handling money in shops
  • changes in personality and mood
  • depression

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